How to Pet Proof Your Home

A border collie trying not to look guilty after tearing the stuffing of of a cushion.

Before you bring home a new pet, it’s important to make sure every room in your house is pet-friendly because just like kids, pets can get into anything, especially if they can jump on counters! Let’s take a room-by-room look at how to cat proof your home and how to dog proof your home.

How to Pet Proof Your Kitchen

The kitchen, for most pet parents, is where we prepare our meals and where our pets beg for food. While "food" and "kitchen" are basically synonymous, the words "food" and "hazard" should be viewed in a similar fashion.

Many delicious human foods, including chocolate, coffee and onions can be toxic to our pets – some of which may be surprising to pet parents. In the kitchen, it’s also important to make sure the garbage can is securely covered, that food is properly stored away and any cleaning products are safely out of paws reach.

How to Pet Proof Your Living Room

O’ the living room, where families gather to relax and put their feet up, and where our pets climb on the furniture (even when they’re not allowed). It’s hard to imagine many safety concerns in our usually cozy sanctuaries, but there are a few potential hazards that require some pet proofing, like the furniture and carpet, which pets can easily damage.

Nylon carpet is known to be durable and stain resistant, while couch covers will help protect your couch from pet stains and scratches. Another trick is to spray furniture with a scent pets don’t like, such as citrus to deter them from furniture you want to remain pet-free. For total peace of mind, move important furniture into a room that is out of boundaries for your pet.

It’s also important to keep electric cords tucked away and out of reach and make sure you have a protective screen in front of your fireplace. If you decorate your home with plants, keep in mind that several common household plants can be poisonous to our pals.

How to Pet Proof Your Bathroom

Chances are, if one of your four-legged family members is in the bathroom, they’re up to no good – drinking toilet water, shredding a roll of toilet paper, and so on.

While most of the damage a pet can do in the bathroom is minor, they can find themselves in serious trouble if they get into the wrong things, including medicines, feminine products, household cleaners, and other common bathroom products, like drain cleaner and popourri. It’s probably in your pet’s best interest to keep them out of the bathroom, but, if they insist, make sure any potential hazards are stored away and out of paws reach.

How to Pet Proof Your Bedroom

The bedroom is where we go to relax and get some shut eye. However, we don’t want to be too relaxed when it comes to the environment of the bedroom. Like any other room in the house, the bedroom can host several hazards to our pets, including the potential for exposed electrical cords, curtain cords and medicines accidentally left on the bedside stand. Take caution not to leave anything out in the open that can poison or cause harm to your pets.

Pet-Proofing the Great Outdoors

When it comes to pet-proofing the outdoors for our pets, the first challenge can be preventing them from getting outside on their own accord. Pet parents should be especially careful around doorways and windows, making sure their pal doesn’t make a dash or jump for it – or, even worse, accidentally fall. It is a good idea to get your pup microchipped in the event of an escape or disappearance.

While keeping a dog from exiting the house on their own can be a challenge, once they’re outdoors and under proper supervision, it’s a good idea to keep the following hazards in mind and away from any curious canine:

● Lawn chemicals and pesticides
● Mulches and fertilizers
● Compost piles
Poisonous plants
● Swimming pools and ponds
● Insects, especially fleas and ticks

It’s also important to have a properly fenced-in yard to help keep your pup in and other potential threats out. There are a lot of potential risks in the outdoors, but a solid, well-maintained fence can help eliminate many of them.

Home Is Where the… Mischief Is?

From the bathroom to the backyard, there are countless places throughout the home – both indoors and outdoors – that you may need to address to help assure your pet’s safety and avoid a visit to the veterinarian’s office.

And while we’re on the subject of pet care, a Pets Plus Us Insurance plan can help provide coverage for routine visits, emergencies, and more! Get a free quote on a pet insurance plan that meets your – and your pet’s – needs.